Posts Tagged ‘thrive’

23
Dec

The Extropy of Bitcoin

by adminadam in articles

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a highly extropic virtual currency and payment platform. It is resistant to entropy, theft, political corruption, and market manipulation (i.e. arbitrary inflation).

Here is an under-two-minute Bitcoin intro video from weusecoins.com:

What are Bitcoin’s novel features (both as a currency and as a technology)?

  • The coins themselves cannot be burnt or destroyed, nor can they be stolen (if encrypted and backed-up properly). Coins can also be stored offline in a paper wallet or an indestructible, encrypted aluminum wallet.
  • Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized currency and banking/ledger system with no single point of failure.
  • It has worldwide appeal and utility; different people are interested in it for different reasons and all can participate freely.
  • A whole cryptocurrency ecosystem has evolved from it. See: Litecoin, Namecoin, or Anoncoin for examples of this.

What are its downsides commonly thought to be?

There are a number of arguments leveled against Bitcoin. Most posit that it will either be rendered null or that there are no legitimate uses for it. Briefly, here are a few of the more common arguments:

  1. That governments and banks will soon feel so threatened by it that they will shut it down.
  2. It’s volatile; it’s difficult to speculate on; it’s not a good investment.
  3. Only criminals and tax-evaders use it. (And/or high frequency traders.)
  4. It’s not accepted anywhere; you can’t really use it for anything.
  5. It would fail if the internet went down.

Now to examine these arguments.

First, that someone or some entity might shut it down:

Bitcoin cannnot be shut down by any authority as could Napster, or Wikileaks, or even the Pirate Bay for that matter. It is completely decentralized and has spread around the world. It is not dependent on ICANN or any centralized protocol or institution controlled by any one entity. I don’t think any conceivable level of coordination could remove enough copies of the peer-to-peer software necessary to run it — existing on many millions of devices around the world at this point — in order to shut it down. Also, as we move forward people are increasingly meeting in person to exchange bitcoin and other coins for cash, meaning that 3rd party bitcoin services (like Coinbase or Mt. Gox) are non-essential to obtaining cryptocurrencies.

Recently China declared that Bitcoin would not be accepted as currency there and that 3rd party Bitcoin/Renminbi exchanges would have to shut down at the end of 2013. This caused the prices to halve as there was great excitement and a surge of interest in Bitcoin in China previously. And while it will be harder for Chinese people to get and sell potentially, it certainly doesn’t spell the end for Bitcoin around the world. For example, Germany accepts it, as do the US, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, France, and others. (I expect even in China it will continue to play some, albeit marginalized, role.) Note also: Swiss lawmakers are considering treating it as they would any other foreign currency as we speak.

Second, on the volatility, the usefulness for investment purposes:

It is difficult to speculate on, but less so, I believe, if you think in longer time frames than does a high-frequency trader.

BTC price history - all time - to Dec 11, 2013

Looking at this chart of the all-time price history of Bitcoin (above), we can see a number of big peaks and valleys, but the general trend is up — in a big way. It is new and subject to an extent to hype and speculation (as is any new commodity or currency, of course). One glance at the overall trajectory, however, and it appears to be more of an exponential trend than a linear one. I cannot conceive of traditional commodities or other physical currencies growing in this fashion, and believe it is only possible with a digital, peer-to-peer, distributed, low-barriers-to-entry system such as Bitcoin. Take a look at this all-time price history with weekly (instead of daily) price points and tell me that the growth is not astonishingly exponential in appearance…!

BTC price history - all time - to December 2013

I think over the long term the value will continue to increase. If we look at a few examples of how Bitcoin (and the underlying protocol) are already being used I think it will become obvious why its value — and the value of other cryptocurrencies — is likely to increase over time.

Who uses it, where, and for what:

Bitcoin is a freely accessible, open-source, distributed, digital currency. That means that anyone with a smart phone or computer and internet access can use it. This ease-of-use and convenience may allow for it to supersede conventional payment and banking technologies, like paypal, moneygram, and bank transfers. As there is no bureaucracy involved, coins can be transferred to anyone, from anyone, at any time and for any reason. All this within minutes. All this without fees.

Here’s a few example uses:

  • Trade sanctions can be bypassed. Cubans in the US can send their families money without hassle.
  • Money can be sent anonymously (and if not then at least pseudonymously) over the internet for the first time in history. For more on the issue of true anonymity and the technical discussions surrounding it see: Zerocoin.
  • Woodlank Patchwork, a new micronation which is both an enclave and an exclave of Japan, has chosen Bitcoin as its official currency.
  • WordPress users can pay with Bitcoin.
  • Reddit accepts it for advertising, tipping other users, and other promotional uses.
  • Shopify allows merchants to accept it.
  • OKcupid accepts it for premium services.
  • Nesbit’s Fine Watch Service (near me in Seattle) accepts it.
  • Seattle-based Accountable Moving & Storage accepts it.
  • Cheapair.com accepts it for purchasing plane tickets.
  • Khan Academy accepts it for donations.
  • Tesla accepts it for the purchase of their electric cars.
  • Virgin Galactic recently sold their first ticket into space purchased with Bitcoin.
  • See CoinMap.org and useBitcoins.info for 1000’s more locations worldwide where Bitcoins are accepted.

Here, additionally, are some fascinating non-monetary uses:

  • Proof of Existence allows users to anonymously time-stamp and create a record of a document’s existence. The cryptographic signature of this time-stamp is then stored for all time in the Bitcoin blockchain, the redundant, distributed ledger of transactions. With this you can certify that a given document/idea/etc exists without the need for a central authority. Think patent/copyright office, but peer-to-peer and open-source. Also, think censorship-proof publishing platform. Proof of Existence is built on top of the Bitcoin protocol.
  • Namecoin is an ‘altcoin’, an alternative cryptocurrency with features that distinguish it from Bitcoin. Namecoin is specifically designed to create an open-source, distributed DNS network. While most every website you would visit currently is ultimately controlled by ICANN (who assigns domain names like thrivenotes.com), Namecoin is creating an alternative, decentralized system, whereby censorship will be impossible, and anyone will be able to create and host a website without risk of it being removed from the internet by ICANN or other influential parties (See: Homeland Security domain name seizures). Namecoin is a fork of the Bitcoin source-code.

What if the internet went down? Are there any other security issues to be aware of?

Besides the fact that the whole internet going down would be disastrous for everyone and all internet-based services, consider the following way in which Bitcoin could possibly even survive or thrive were the net to go down:

In an amazingly ambitious announcement, Bitcoin Developer Jeff Garzik declared his intention to launch cubesat Bitcoin nodes into space to store extra redundant copies of the blockchain in case of certain types of attack or internet outages. This apparently would cost only around $2 Million to do and would provide an additional layer of extropy (higher-order, complexity, and resiliency) to Bitcoin. I find this just fascinating. Perhaps Bitcoin would be okay..!

Regardless, I would like to provide some additional details on the security of the Bitcoin ecosystem, but thought it best to leave it to the experts for this one. Here is some useful Q&A from the Bitcoin Security FAQ:

Is Bitcoin secure?

The Bitcoin technology – the protocol and the cryptography – has a strong security track record, and the Bitcoin network is probably the biggest distributed computing project in the world. Bitcoin’s most common vulnerability is in user error. Bitcoin wallet files that store the necessary private keys can be accidentally deleted, lost or stolen. This is pretty similar to physical cash stored in a digital form. Fortunately, users can employ sound security practices to protect their money or use service providers that offer good levels of security and insurance against theft or loss.

The best way to be safe is to be sure of who you’re dealing with (trusted exchanges, for instance, are a good place to start) when purchasing, and then to store your wallet encrypted (with an 8+ word password, for example) in multiple (that is, 3+) locations.

Hasn’t Bitcoin been hacked in the past?

The rules of the protocol and the cryptography used for Bitcoin are still working years after its inception, which is a good indication that the concept is well designed. However, security flaws have been found and fixed over time in various software implementations. Like any other form of software, the security of Bitcoin software depends on the speed with which problems are found and fixed. The more such issues are discovered, the more Bitcoin is gaining maturity.

There are often misconceptions about thefts and security breaches that happened on diverse exchanges and businesses. Although these events are unfortunate, none of them involve Bitcoin itself being hacked, nor imply inherent flaws in Bitcoin; just like a bank robbery doesn’t mean that the dollar is compromised. However, it is accurate to say that a complete set of good practices and intuitive security solutions is needed to give users better protection of their money, and to reduce the general risk of theft and loss. Over the course of the last few years, such security features have quickly developed, such as wallet encryption, offline wallets, hardware wallets, and multi-signature transactions.

I love this line: a bank robbery doesn’t mean the dollar has been compromised. So perfect. I feel this is very important to consider in discussions of crytocurrencies: ‘Is this a local vulnerability that’s been exploited, or a global/universal one tatamount to the annihilation of Bitcoin (et al.)?’

Could users collude against Bitcoin?

It is not possible to change the Bitcoin protocol that easily. Any Bitcoin client that doesn’t comply with the same rules cannot enforce their own rules on other users. As per the current specification, double spending is not possible on the same block chain, and neither is spending bitcoins without a valid signature. Therefore, It is not possible to generate uncontrolled amounts of bitcoins out of thin air, spend other users’ funds, corrupt the network, or anything similar.

However, a majority of miners could arbitrarily choose to block or reverse recent transactions. A majority of users can also put pressure for some changes to be adopted. Because Bitcoin only works correctly with a complete consensus between all users, changing the protocol can be very difficult and requires an overwhelming majority of users to adopt the changes in such a way that remaining users have nearly no choice but to follow. As a general rule, it is hard to imagine why any Bitcoin user would choose to adopt any change that could compromise their own money.

Consensus-based, democratic, open-source projects FOR THE WIN.

Is Bitcoin vulnerable to quantum computing?

Yes, most systems relying on cryptography in general are, including traditional banking systems. However, quantum computers don’t yet exist and probably won’t for a while. In the event that quantum computing could be an imminent threat to Bitcoin, the protocol could be upgraded to use post-quantum algorithms. Given the importance that this update would have, it can be safely expected that it would be highly reviewed by developers and adopted by all Bitcoin users.

Just imagine: Quantum-Encryption-Protected Bitcoin. What would we call it? QuBitcoin? Bitcoin-Cubed? 5th-DimensionalCoin? Whatever form it takes, whatever it’s called, I love their assertion that Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Developers will continue to develop and maximize the extropian potential of these liberating technologies — even in the face of quantum-supercomputer highway-robbery-attempts.

TL;DR – What about Bitcoin?

  • You can send money to anyone, anytime.
  • It can’t be shut down by governments.
  • It can’t be controlled by corporations or the Federal Reserve.
  • It may be protected from other conceivable, future forms of interference through the use of space-based redundancy satellites.
  • And you can buy everything from a cup of joe to an electric car with it.
Seems pretty awesomely versatile, valuable, and revolutionary to me!

bitcoin-logo-3d

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7
Nov

Release: Touching the Root

by adminadam in poetry

subsumed
into, under, below
the ocean water surface
i’ve been trying for so long to breach
again and again

willfully subsumbed
to relax, sink, float down
drag, gravity
gradual pull
willful sinking

to touch the root of the age
to touch the root of the times
to experience fully the earth in this life

window of time is brief
and there is no hurry

subsumed2

16
Jun

Opening the Third Eye

by adminadam in articles, education

Naturally detoxify your pineal gland.

The pineal gland acts as the spiritual center of your brain. It produces both melatonin and DMT, otherwise known as the “spirit molecule”. It helps you to sleep, dream, and transcend the atomized, materialist world we live in. Unfortunately, through the constant abuse that is our everyday consumption and absorption of contaminated food, water, and air, the pineal gland calcifies, or hardens. This results in a major diminishing of its potential. It produces far less of the wonderful substances and hormones, like melatonin, that it should. Part of the reason that pineal gland calcification is such an issue is due to the fact that the pineal gland is a small (tiny) gland which is, however, exposed to some of the greatest volumes of blood-flow of any gland or organ in the body. Note: It is not behind the blood-brain barrier, although it is still considered part of the brain.

The major culprits in the calcification process are the halides (fluoride, bromide, and chloride). Also harmful are: mercury, pesticides, and excess calcium, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. With this in mind it is advisable to avoid fluoridated water and toothpaste, high-mercury fish, non-organic food and produce, and similarly it is recommended to eat (and drink) moderately, eat fresh, eat organic, and ingest some of the following very beneficial and decalcifying natural foods and supplements:

Iodine is a proven detoxifying, decalcifying element. It is also something many people are deficient in around the world. In fact Americans used to consume much higher amounts of iodine, in addition to being given supplements like Lugol’s Solution for a wide variety of ailments, particularly metabolic ones. Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and concomitantly it very efficiently flushes halides like fluoride out of your system — if you have enough of it, that is. If you begin supplementing with iodine, you may in fact notice just how good of a job it’s doing: you happen to come down with a variety curious and gruesome symptoms — nausea, acne, and fevers. These are actually the symptoms of fluoridism, bromidism, and chloridism; acute doses of these halides are being released into your system all of a sudden as a result of the detoxification process with iodine. You don’t feel such symptoms normally because A) you don’t (probably) consume acute doses of these halides, and B) because these toxins have been building up and hiding away in your fatty tissues, in your bones, and in calcium deposits all throughout your body for YEARS! Note that I am talking about detox symptoms that can occur upon starting supplementing iodine a la Iodoral, which is a substantial boost of 12.5mg of iodine per tablet. This amount is actually roughly equivalent to the average daily dose a Japanese person gets from their diet. Interestingly, Japanese people also have significantly lower rates of metabolic syndrome, thyroid issues (hyper-, hypo-, goiters), and also of breast cancer than we Westerners do. They get this bounty of iodine through kelp and seaweeds primarily. Other good food-based sources include cranberries, potatoes (with the skin), and yogurt.

A word to the wise if you are going to pursue supplementation with what we might call ‘acute’ doses of iodine, it is good to keep some things in mind: 1) the detox symptoms (which may be caused by a Herxheimer reaction due to bromine release) are temporary, 2) they are most likely a sign that you are detoxing from large quantities of halides, 3) the symptoms you feel as this is happening can be attenuated significantly, and 4) the way to do this, to ease your detox process, is to drink lots and lots of fresh, natural water, consume extra Vitamin C and some unrefined salt (good for bromine detox), and also supplement magnesium and calcium to ease the fluoride detox process, one which leeches calcium from your body on its way out, forming calcium-fluoride before being excreted.

Melatonin supplementation may be helpful in the decalcification process. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant which gobbles up damaging free-radicals and is helpful in falling and staying asleep.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar such as Bragg’s contains malic acid, which is a powerful detoxifier. Remember to buy your vinegar raw — and go organic if you can. I put about a half-tablespoon of it into a tall glass of water and imbibe it. (I find this aids my digestion as well.)

Garlic acts as a decalcifier and is also an immune-booster and a natural antibiotic. I eat raw garlic finely chopped up — I actually swallow this with lots of water without chewing any of the pieces. This helps me avoid the burning sensation and intense flavors taking over my mouth. FYI, leaving your garlic to air out for a while after you chop it up allows for more of the essential oils and beneficial compounds in it to activate.

Oregano oil is a natural antibiotic that is apparently able to break through the calcium shells that harmful bacteria build around themselves within the pineal gland. Cool, huh?

Organic beets (and beet powder) contain high levels of naturally occurring boron, which is a powerful detoxifying agent and cleanser for the pineal gland. Eat the beats or mix the powder into a glass of your filtered or distilled (non-fluoridated) drinking water.

Cilantro, raw lemon juice, raw cacao, and chaga mushrooms are all said to be positive contributors in this fight as well, for various reasons. Cilantro as a general detoxifying food, the lemon juice for its citric acid, raw cacao for its high antioxidant content, and the chaga mushroom for its multiple phytonutrients and high melanin content. These are all probably very healthy for you otherwise as well. The superfood Chlorella, a species of single-cell green algae, is also great for detoxing (pulling heavy metals out of the body) and is packed with nutrients.

For cost effectiveness, try the apple cider vinegar, garlic, beets, and iodine-supplement route. From my research these are all superfoods (or supersupplements) that will boost your immune system and metabolism as they help you detoxify your body and decalcify your mind.

pineal-gland


SOURCE 1: Waking Times article on Detoxifying the Pineal Gland
SOURCE 2: Decalcifypinealgland.com, How-To article
SOURCE 3: Iodoral Iodine 12.5mg Tablets, Amazon Link
SOURCE 4: Lugol’s Iodine 2.2% Solution, Amazon Link

9
Jun

Truth = Treason

by adminadam in home, quotes, videos

“When Truth Is Treason” — From Community Christian Church in Springfield, MO. (16:44 runtime)

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.


  1. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

  2. “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” — Voltaire

  3. “The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.” — H.L. Mencken

  4. “A wise prince will seek means by which his subjects will always and in every possible condition of things have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

  5. “If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.” — Frank Herbert

  6. “Public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law.” — George Orwell

  7. “One certain effect of war is to diminish freedom of expression. Patriotism becomes the order of the day, and those who question the war are seen as traitors, to be silenced and imprisoned.” — Howard Zinn

  8. “If those in charge of our society — politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television — can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.” — Howard Zinn

  9. “Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.” — George Orwell

  10. “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” — George Orwell

  11. “Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?” — Frank Herbert

  12. “Respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality.” — Frank Herbert

  13. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” — Nelson Mandela


TRUTH = TREASON = TERRORISM


21
May

System Failure

by adminadam in home

system_failure

8
Apr

Wind in the Forest

by adminadam in poetry

Ancient Tongue

All persons
Familiar or otherwise
Are now winds.
Their faces appearing intermittently
Between gaps of voidness
As thin fragile films
On invisible Air.
How can such unreal manifestations be permanent?
They change, these insubstantial happenings,
So I call them winds.

Flowers!
Only you seem to remain fairly loyal
To my past perceptions,
However deceptive.
It can be expected
Since you are the closest
Of all natural expressions
To ultimate Natures
Of that, I have accepted

The immaculate jasmine that lasts but for a day,
The leaves of the Kopsia aged red,
Butterflies and moths,
Dragonflies and moths,
Dragonflies levitate,
These are thoughts,
But whose thoughts?

The language of Man
Too has vanished with the winds,
I’ve lost all words my teacher drilled me.
May I borrow your tongue to communicate,
O plants of the world,
Your lips to speak?
And safe-keep my memories between your layers of leaves?
O Mother Earth, O Father Sky!
Only with your words can I talk to you,
And I can do so only when I’m no different from
A showy hibiscus,
Or the moon, the mirror of the sun,
Or the sun, the discus of life.

7 November 1994
The Venerable Sujiva
The Buddhist Wisdom Center

I have, for some time, been talking to plants. Not in the way some people talk to themselves. It’s more of a communication, but not like what the mediums do during seances. When you develop keen awareness while working with and among plants, you can sense their unique characteristics, not just their external morphology but qualities which seem to tell you about the nature of life, the ways of the world and so forth. It enlivens and inspires my spiritual life as well as contributing to good health. Everyone should learn the ancient language Nature speaks. This reminds me of a short poem I wrote long ago:

Nature speaks in symbols and signs
Catch them while they fly
Let her tell you what’s in her heart
— The Truth that never dies!

Wind-in-the-forest-Sujiva

15
Feb

Thich Quang Duc

by adminadam in home

Thich Quang Duc / Thích Quảng Đức
Born: 1897, Died: 11 June 1963 (aged 65–66)
Other name(s): Bồ Tát Thích Quảng Đức (Bodhisattva Thích Quảng Đức)
Religion: Mahayana Buddhism
Hội Khánh, French Indochina / Saigon, South Vietnam

Thích Quảng Đức, on his death, 6/11/63

Thich Quang Duc

(Click picture to learn more about him.)
9
Feb

A Dream of a Volunteer Economy

by adminadam in home

I had a dream that people around me were so excited to do volunteer work in the local Commons, and that people were spreading the message that you could volunteer, you could be thanked for your work, and you could go home just as soon as you were done with your work. The first thing I saw people doing was fixing or installing some wiring for a mailbox (don’t ask; it’s all fuzzy at this point!) — perhaps they were setting it up to notify recipients of when packages had arrived?? The clearest feeling I had in the dream was that people were so stoked to be told that they were free to go after they finished something — and this message was spreading like wildfire! People also appreciated the part about being thanked for what they had done, but that wasn’t the most exciting thing for them — it was more the free-association aspect that they liked.

I woke up feeling really excited about this myself, and wanted to go and help and continue to spread the word that ‘we could be interacting and living in such a novel way!’

It makes me think about my recent use of Stack Overflow for learning programming: It is a very social-libertarian/anarchistic place, a sort of Commons, where people interact and help each other out without being obligated to, and where they are rewarded in kind (with badges and contributions points and gracious comments) for doing so. And we are free to ‘go home’ at any time! How about that?

Pretty swell thing, eh?